Is my G4 dying and can it be saved?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by leahkat, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    #1
    My PowerMac G4 is making squeaking sounds now and occasional chirping sounds also. I'm afraid it may be done.? If I need to replace it now, I'm on a tight budget $500-800 (considering a used Pro or mini). If I can save it to die another day though... I could invest more in a new machine later.

    Any ideas about weird noises?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Central CA
    #2
    Was this posted on another forum?

    Anyway, where are the funny noises coming from? If they are from your harddrive, back them up now! :eek:
     
  3. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #3
    That can be the hard drive or the fan. Both are cheap-ish. Do you notice a decrease in the system's responsiveness or doing things like opening apps or starting up?
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    #4
    Yes, I posted in the buying advice forum assuming that I'd need another machine... but I'm just wondering now if I HAVE to replace this one now, or if there's something I can do to save it. Thankyou kindly for your reply to my other post btw... very helpful. I didn't realize I'd have to choose carefully with os's. And I'm not sure if it's the HD. I could have sworn there was a bird around for like weeks! lol! Seriously, I don't know... how can I tell?
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    #5
    Both the squeaking (which is more frequent, constant and quieter) and the 'chirping' (it really sounds like a bird or something) are pretty random. I don't restart my computer often... or ever really, but I do notice the sounds more ofter when the computer is waking up. ? I can hear what I suppose is the hard drive? when I open an application and I don't 'think' the squeaking or chirping coincides with the regular hard drive sounds. Does any of that make sense?
     
  6. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #6
    I'm going to say a fan is failing or acting strange. Failing hard drives rarely, if ever, sound like a bird. They usually sound like clicking or a grinding noise.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    ppcfanforever1

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #7
    One way of checking is by going to spotlight and typing in disk utility. Then once this is open go to your hard drive not the partition that sits under your hard drive and click on it. You should now be in a First Aid tab look at the bottom of the page and click Verify Disk. If you get errors then most likely you need a new hard drive. If that's fine you might want to see if your computer is over heating by opening a game and seeing if it crashes after awhile of playing.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    #8
    Here's what I got from disk utility verify disk:

    Performing live verification.
    Checking Journaled HFS Plus volume.
    Checking Extents Overflow file.
    Checking Catalog file.
    Checking multi-linked files.
    Checking Catalog hierarchy.
    (red) Invalid directory item count

    (It should be 15882 instead of 15883)
    Checking Extended Attributes file.
    Checking volume bitmap.
    Checking volume information.

    (red)The volume My Apple needs to be repaired.
    Error:Filesystem verify or repair failed.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #9
    To check if it's drive or fan, just remove power plug from HDD. But judging by Disk Utility check, you need new HDD. Backup your data ASAP.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    ppcfanforever1

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #10
    Yeah it sounds shot, back up if you still can and replace the hard drive, remember if its the stock drive its pretty old.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    ybz90

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #11
    I know this is the PPC thread, but you know, it might not be a bad idea to upgrade now. Take it as a sign.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #12
    The disk can be repaired, these Errors are fairly common, I came upon them quite a few times, it does not mean the HD is shot, can be but not necessarily so.

    My Powerbook has more or less the same sound, I think it's the fan.

    OP, repair the disk first, check if the Smart status is OK on the HD.
    Open the Mac and clean it, also check where the sound comes from.

    (red) Invalid directory item count- this just indicates there are more or less items on the disk than in the directory, that's all.
     
  13. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #13
    A failed disk verify in Disk Utility doesn't always mean a failing drive. It usually means that there is data corruption. This corruption is usually caused by a forced shut down. Start up from another drive and repair the main hard drive.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    #14
    Smart status says verified.


    I ran Disk Warrior from CD (I usually have good luck repairing directory from DW)... and got this:

    New Directory cannot replace original directory because the original was to severely damaged. It is highly recommended that you backup all of your data from the preview disk.

    Comparison of the original and replacement directories could not be
    performed because the original directory was too severely damaged. It
    is recommended that you preview the replacement directory.

    All files found easily.

    All errors in the directory structure such as tree depth, header
    node, map nodes, node size, node counts, node links, indexes and more
    have been repaired.

    189812 files had a directory entry with an incorrect flag that was
    repaired.

    16 files had a directory entry with an incorrect text encoding value
    that was repaired.

    1 folder had an incorrect item count that was repaired.

    Incorrect values in the Volume Information were repaired.


    I clicked the details button, and then nothing... Frozen I guess.? Tried clicking preview instead... nothing. Mouse still moved, but nothing was accessible. Finally forced restart and now I don't quite know what to do. ? Should I use the install cd & disk utility to try to repair?

    Also, I use time machine for backup to an external HD. Never had to try to restore though. Do I need to do something else before I fool with the directory & disk further.?
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #15
    Why not instead using Disk Warrior restart from install discs, the start disk utility from install disk and repair the file system (repair Hard Drive) from there. (Be sure to select the HDD andd not the DVD ;))
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Central CA
    #16
    It doesn't sound like the drive is physically bad, it just sounds like the directory or other volume structures got "hosed" after a forced shut down...

    If DiskWarrior didn't help, there may be other disk tools that would work.

    Wouldn't an easier fix be to clone the drive over to a backup drive, and then clone it back?

    Also...we still have to get to the bottom of the chirping noises. Dying drives will sound like grinding, as pointed out earlier. This doesn't sound like that. A chief suspect would be a fan...there aren't too many moving parts inside a computer.

    Can you get beside it, and try to locate the sound by ear?
     
  17. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    #17
    I haven't tried the install CD and disk utility yet...? Would that possibly help?

    I'm not familiar with cloning. How is that different from a backup? (Please excuse my ignorance)

    I can sure try. It's pretty random though... and no chirping today!

    Also, regarding your advice on a possible replacement...I'm considering a used mini that has snow leopard installed. So I've been poking around, and it looks like people have had problems working with ppc applications in sl (such as the CS2 & 3 that I need to run for awhile yet). Would leopard be any better? Or considering the fact that I'm not in a position to upgrade my software now, would I need to stick with ppc until the cs upgrade is possible?

    And thankyou kindly for your help!!!
     
  18. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #18
    A forced restart won't hose a volume like that.

    Cloning the disk and then back only gets the problems back.

    Try using Disk Utility on the Install disk, but I think the disk is not repairable now, DiskWarrior is a better program than Disk Utility so I think it won't work but just give it a try.

    I would not really trust that HD anymore though, why is the File system so hosed, something bad has been done to it, did you use some other software before this which caused this?
     
  19. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #19
    I've had filesystems with similar damage done to them caused by force restarts. I just reinstalled the OS and the drive continued working. Still working to this day and those problems happened way back in 2004. Of course it was about ten forced restarts over a period of two weeks, but that's what did it. There's likely nothing wrong with the drive. Just coincidence that there's something wrong with it and the chirping noise.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #20
    Ouch!!
     
  21. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #21
    That's the magic of 10.3 with a third party extension designed for 10.2. Lots of freezes and kernel panics. Poor Powerbook.
     
  22. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #22
    I have to say then, I stand corrected, I myself never saw such damage but you clearly had so then I guess it is possible.
     
  23. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #23
    There's also the very slight possibility, almost nonexistent in the OP's case, that such extensive filesystem damage could also be cause by a bad cable or a failing controller. While both of those possibilities are rare, the do happen.
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #24
    I'd replace the drive anyway, especially if it's still the stock one (or very old one).

    Mini is the way to go, 2010 one in particular. Especially if you'd find one with upgraded HDD to 7200 rpm or fast 5400 rpm (stock Toshibas 5400 rpm were painfully slow). CS2 will run on it (even with Rosetta) faster than on G4. CS3 is universal binary and takes advantage of it when used on Intel machines.

    It's more complex if you're using specific software that won't run on 10.6.
    I'm still on 10.5.8 on MP due to my favorite Agfa scanning software. No go in 10.6 and higher. Alternative software does not offer features that I need or simply cost arm and leg. It's also something to consider.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    #25
    No, no other software. I'm not exactly sure what has caused the mess. Admittedly, I haven't checked the file system in awhile... Haven't been having any unusual computer issues... freezes and such. Power outages a couple of times over the last few months that have shut me down some...maybe that's it.? I don't know. What exactly can I do if the disk is not repairable at this point?

    Why 2010 in particular?
     

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